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The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)/ Polar Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) program is a key element in National Weather Service (NWS) operations.

The GOES/POES mission is composed of two geostationary satellites and two polar orbiting satellites. These satellites operate in pairs. The geostationary satellites, GOES-East covering the East Coast and GOES-West covering the West Coast, provide real-time weather data for use in short-term weather forecasting (warnings of severe weather) and space environment monitoring, as well as research and development. The polar orbiting satellites primarily provide long-range weather forecasting, ensuring that non-visible data, for any region of the Earth, are no more than six hours old.

The goals of the GOES/POES program are to:

* Carry forth the U.S. commitment to systematic, global weather observation, providing total global coverage

* Monitor the earth's surface and space environmental conditions

* Introduce improved atmospheric and oceanic observations and data dissemination capabilites

* Develop and provide new and improved applications and products for a wide range of federal agencies, state and local governments, and private users

* Support growing international cooperation in space

* Make major contributions toward international search and rescue operations - Current number of lives saved

* Improve the efficiency of many sectors of our national economy by saving industry and general public billions of dollars a year

* Provide current data for global change research

* Key implementer of U.S. Peaceful Use of Space Policy

*Sort missions by clicking the column headers.

DivisionNameLaunch DatePhase
Earth GOES A - C
The launch of the prototype Synchronous Meteorological Satellite, SMS-A, in May 1974 inaugurated the series of geosynchronous satellites that has provided systematic, continuous observations of weather patterns. A second prototype, SMS-B, followed in February 1975. The GOES program formally began ...
19751016 October 16, 1975 4Past
Earth GOES D - H
GOES-4 advanced meteorologists’ capabilities by continuously profiling vertical temperature and water vapor. This major advancement permitted, for the first time, the monitoring of frame-to-frame movement of water vapor concentrations, a technique introduced by the European Meteosat-1 satellite. These missions are ...
19800909 September 09, 1980 4Past
Earth GOES I - M
The GOES I-M satellites are the primary element of U.S. weather monitoring and forecast operations and are a key component of NOAA's National Weather Service operations and modernization program. These missions are part of the GOES / POES program.
19940413 April 13, 1994 4Past
Earth GOES N - P
GOES - N/O/P is the next series of GOES satellites. The multi-mission GOES series N - P will be a vital contributor to weather, solar, and space operations and science. These missions are part of the GOES / POES program.
20100304 March 04, 2010 3Operating
Earth GOES-R
GOES-R satellites will comprise improved spacecraft and instrument technologies, which will result in more timely and accurate weather forecasts, and improve support for the detection and observations of meteorological phenomena that directly affect public safety, protection of property, and ultimately, ...
20160301 2016 2Development
Earth NOAA-N
NOAA-N broadcasts data directly to thousands of users around the world and continues to provide a polar-orbiting platform to support the environmental monitoring instruments for imaging and measurement of the Earth's atmosphere, its surface, and cloud cover. Observations include information ...
20050520 May 20, 2005 3Operating
The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) is a satellite system used to monitor global environmental conditions, and collect and disseminate data related to weather, atmosphere, oceans, land and near-space environment. This mission is part of the GOES/POES program.
20140331 March 31, 2014 2Development